Real estate agents must always be prospecting for new leads and then turning them into sales in order to stay in business. Capturing leads is just one part of the process. Once you get the lead, you must act upon it so you don’t lose the prospect to another agent. The most efficient way of converting leads is to use a client management system to organize your buyer leads and seller leads. Following up on leads as soon as you get them is also important. People want to work with agents who deliver good customer service and get them results. You must constantly be marketing yourself and your brand so that people remember you when they are ready to buy or sell.
Finding Real Estate Leads
Real estate prospects can come from multiple sources including the following:
- Referrals from current and past clients
- Internet and social media websites
- Newspaper and magazines ads, flyers and brochures
- Open houses
- Other brokers
- Business cards
- Social farming
Successful real estate agents have their own website and are always marketing themselves and their client’s properties talking about real estate wherever they go, blogging and keeping up on market trends. They pass out their cards at business and social events. Agents advertise their name and company brand in the community, sponsoring events, ads in newspaper and other print media and on the Internet. Letting people know you are a Realtor, providing valuable information and constantly reminding them you are there when they need to buy or sell will help you capture more leads and convert them to sales.
Realtors also establish business relationships with vendors and other people they do business with constantly referring business back and forth to each other. This may include mortgage brokers, home inspectors, contractors, movers and other people in the real estate industry. They forge alliances and friendships with other real estate agents inside and outside of their area. Since most real estate agents specialize in one or two areas, when they have clients that want to buy or sell in areas that they do not work, they refer the business to another agent. Referral fees generated from other Realtors are a great source of increasing revenues and generating sales.
Many times Realtors from the same company who work different neighborhoods will team up to list a home. For example, if Realtor A works an area where Realtor B does not, and Realtor B has a client who wants to sell their home located in Realtor A’s area, Realtor B may ask Realtor A to either co-list the house or may simply refer Realtor A to the seller and ask Realtor A for a referral fee when the house sells. This way, the lead is not lost, the client gets an experienced local Realtor to sell their home and each Realtor also makes money.
How to Convert Real Estate Leads?
In order to capture leads, you need to respond within 24 hours or less. Otherwise, the lead may contact another agent. People tend to work with the agents that respond the quickest to their inquiries. Good customer service is essential to capturing new clients, keeping your existing clients happy and growing your business with repeat sales and referrals. People will want to work with you if they know they can count on you to respond to them.
When you contact a lead, screen them to find out their motivation and time table. If they need to buy or sell now or within the next month or two, then you know they are a hot lead. Warm leads are clients who are interested in entering into a real estate transaction within the next six months. Leads that have no specific motivation or time table are cold leads. Hot and warm leads should be pursued first because those will most likely turn into sales quicker. However, it is a good idea to keep in touch with cold leads, sending them information on an ongoing basis because eventually they may turn into a hot or warm lead.
When working with buyers, be sure to find out all the buyer’s criteria including price, number of bedrooms and baths, amenities and upgrades they want and home style preferences. When working with sellers, ask why they want to sell and if they need help purchasing a new home. Even if they are moving out of the area, you should offer to find them a Realtor. This way, you can also collect a referral fee and grow your business by just sitting back and waiting for a check to arrive after they buy. By screening your leads carefully, you will save time and money.
Real estate is a numbers game. The more leads you capture, the more sales and income you will generate. Your business will grow and your hard work and efforts will pay off. You should never stop prospecting and turning leads into sales, or you may find yourself looking for another line of work.
The key thing to remember is to maintain an honest approach to your work, and this extends to your approach to gathering and converting leads. Professionalism and a genuine transparency is everything.